The Millions Top Ten: August 2011

September 1, 2011 | 15 books mentioned 2 min read

We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buying, and we decided it would be fun to use those stats to find out what books have been most popular with our readers in recent months. Below you’ll find our Millions Top Ten list for August.

This
Month
Last
Month
Title On List
1. 1. cover The Pale King 6 months
2. 2. cover The Enemy 4 months
3. 4. cover Farnsworth’s Classical English Rhetoric 5 months
4. 5. cover The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry 4 months
5. 8. cover Leaves of Grass 2 months
6. 6. cover The Hunger Games 6 months
7. 7. cover A Moment in the Sun 3 months
8. 9. cover Otherwise Known as the Human Condition 3 months
9. cover How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive 1 month
10. cover The Bathtub Spy 1 month

David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King remains in our top spot, but it will be headed (most likely along with The Hunger Games), to our Hall of Fame next month where it will join this month’s inductee, the book I co-edited, The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books. Thanks again to all the Millions readers who picked the book up. It was a great project, and I’m glad I had a chance to share it with you.

We have a pair of newcomers this week. Readers were clearly intrigued by Emily St. John Mandel’s review of Christopher Boucher’s unique new novel How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive. We also have another Kindle Single on our list. Tom Rachman, whose The Imperfectionists is already in our Hall of Fame, makes the list with The Bathtub Spy, a new short story published as an e-book original. Christopher Hitchens’ timely The Enemy has already had a nice showing on our list, suggesting that readers are warming to the pricing and perhaps the more bite-sized nature of this new format. Do Kindle Singles (and similar pieces offered on other platforms) undermine books or are readers now being introduced to the work of writers like Hitchens and Rachman via these low-cost "samples?" Something to ponder.

Meanwhile, the stay of George R.R. Martin’s latest, A Dance with Dragons, on our list turns out to be brief. Other Near Misses: The Magician King, Swamplandia!, How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One, and The Art of Fielding. See Also: Last month’s list

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.

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